Working with electricity can be intimidating, but if you take the time to understand what you are doing, it is not too difficult. That being said, it is important that you approach any electrical task in your home with a high degree of safety and knowledge. There are plenty of things that can go wrong when working with wiring and outlets and therefore there is a real risk of a serious or even fatal injury. If at any point you are unsure about what you are doing, you should step away from the job and look to hire an expert. If you do want to go about installing a new lighting fixture by yourself, however, there are a few things that you should know in order to ensure that the job is done properly. Here is how you should go about installing a new lighting fixture in your house.
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Turn Off the Power to the Fixture
The first thing that you have to do when installing a new lighting fixture is turn off the power in that area. This does not mean going to the light switch and turning it off, but instead going to the main electrical panel and turning off the breaker that it is connected to. If you do not do this, you are going to be working with live wires, and you are going to get electrocuted. As mentioned above, if you are not sure how to do this, you should be calling an electrician to help. No matter where you live, you can get the help and support that you need. An electrician who specializes in Residential Electrical Service & Repair in Plymouth, Massachusetts mentions that an electrician can easily come over and map out every circuit in your house, so you understand what is attached to which breaker. This is useful for any future fixture installations as well as you know what breaker has to be turned off. When installing a lighting fixture, make sure that the power in the area has been completely cut off.
Remove the Cover
The next step is to remove the canopy that is covering the wires. The canopy is normally attached to the wall or ceiling and is used just to shield wires and keep everything covered. Remove it from the wall, so you can see the wires.
Unscrew the Wires
Whenever you are installing a light fixture, you are going to be working with three wires, a black wire, a copper wire, and a white wire. Once you have unscrewed the wires, you should separate the ceiling or wall wires from the fixture wires to ensure you are easily able to remove the fixture.
Remove the Fixture
Now that you have disconnected all of the wirings, it is now time to remove the old fixture altogether. Unscrew the fixture from the connecting box on the ceiling and then move it out of the way.
Change the Bracket If Necessary and Install the Fixture
Unfortunately, there is no universal mount or bracket that all lighting fixtures follow. Therefore, you have to check to see if the new fixture is going to work and screw in with the current bracket that you have. If it is not able to do so, you are going to have to change out the bracket for one that does. Most lights will come with a proper bracket for mounting them so do not worry if the bracket you currently have installed does not work with it. Simply change it out and move on to the next step.
Connect the New Wires
Now that we have the new bracket in, it is time to take the wires from the new fixture and connect them to the wires that are built into the wall. This can be a little tedious to do as it requires you to twist the wires together. Make sure that each of them is connected and that they won't unscrew or untwist.
Install The Canopy
Now that we have everything connected, it is time to install the new canopy and cover up the wires. If the fixture does not fit snugly against the wall, look to use the chain it comes with or another similar mechanism for having it fit right up against the wall. This will ensure that all the wires are protected and will also keep the area safe.
Test It Out
Now that everything is finished, it’s time to restore power to the fixture and check to see if everything is working properly. If you have followed all instructions to a tee, your new fixture should turn on without any problems. If things don’t work, take a look at your connections to ensure that the wires are properly connected.
Congratulations on installing your light fixture. While it is not as difficult as you might think, there are still plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. What kind of light fixtures do you plan on installing?